Originally Posted by Audiophile34
I do understand that there is a different eq when it comes to a movie theater vs a living room.
But to say that reference level is different in different settings, to me is just wrong,
If reference level is 85 to 90 db nominal, with 105 db peaks, (at lp) then is a db different depending what size room you are in? I don't think so. I feel it is more likley that people have there avr's set up with boosts that bring the actually level higher than reference when then approach 0.
I myself watch movies no higher than -10db. Above that I am worried that I will lose another ceiling panel in the kitchen, (it happend during tron)...
Unfortunately simple SPL readings on a meter in one space does not equal the same reading in another space. I've posted about this any times, but until someone makes their own comparison/observation with a meter in hand, it's easy to remain skeptical.
Here's the short explanation. Our ears and hearing system generally determine loudness by sound power over different time intervals. In terms of sound, power is intensity over time. In other words a brief transient of a given max SPL is perceived to be less loud than a sound of the same intensity lasting 5-10x longer. After some longer time period we move to a perceived average level, like what is noted for industrial/machinery noise and loud rock concerts.
In a shorter time period, measured in milliseconds to a few seconds, duration is everything. This is where room acoustics, distortion, and compression come into play. Room acoustics are the most dominant, with amp/speaker systems and program material differences following behind.
When I first moved into our warehouse 2 years ago, we started with this concrete cavern for the back warehouse:
With just a few tables and some boxes in the space, I was able to FILL the place with sound from front to back using a few watts of power and a healthy desktop system! As we have now filled the space with work areas, shelving, packing material and product, the shop music system is now much more powerful and can be comfortably cranked up much louder.
I've heard plenty of very live living rooms which seem overly loud after calibration with an SPL meter playing movies anywhere above -10dB. I've also been in a few very powerful and extensively treated rooms, including an outdoor HT system
, where playback of 0dB to even +5dB sounded great and not the least bit painful. The outdoor system was by far the biggest reality check. You can most certainly get all the bass power, impact, pant leg flapping and "pressurization" but removing all the room reflections and long decays makes for quite the revelation of just how significant the room is to what we hear.